A commitment to diversity, kickass content and… dogs.
Last year, I attended SaaStr Annual for the first time.As a partner of a SaaS consultancy, the existence an event solely targeted to SaaS companies immediately drew me in. is what made me come in the first place. But what left a lasting impression in my mind about the conference was how inspired and re-energized I felt to take my own business to the next level.
So this year we decided to become a sponsor, our first time sponsoring a conference, which was a big deal for us. So with some jet lag(the good kind that gets you up in the morning straight from Brooklyn) and a cup of coffee, I was ready to kick off SaaStr Annual!
Boy we’re getting close now to the 2018 Annual.
There are so many great sessions, picking will be tough.
But I wanted to highlight a baker’s dozen of super interesting sessions you might have missed that I think are pretty special / unique:
The Founder’s Guide to Starting an Incubator or Your Own Fund with Alex Bangash, Trusted Insight. Ok this is a cool topic. Alex has anchored top next-generation funds including Initialized, Science, SaaStr, Data Collective, EF, Heavybit, and many other leaders. He’ll tell you how founders really raise their own funds, the honest stories, the odds, the economics, is it even worth it, everything. Super cool.
Journey to Billion Dollar Exit with Dave Yarnold, CEO of Service Max. Unicorns are shockingly common these days (strange days indeed), but this is one to catch. Dave has been doing SaaS since the earliest days
This week, three SaaS companies I’ve been involved with as an investor, advisor, board member, etc. since the very early days all raised $25m+ rounds … 2 more are about to announce them … and a sixth (Automile) recently announced one:
RainforestQA announced a $25m+ Series B
Front announced a $66m Series B
Showpad announced a $25m Series B
Automile announced a $35m Series B
One More Just Signed for $25m+
There are a bunch of learnings here, and I don’t want to share anything confidential or unique.
But I thought it would be useful to share some learnings because all 5 of these SaaS start-ups share two characteristics:
They are all really, really, really good companies with great CEOs … and/but
They have plenty of at least nominal competition.
And one thing that frustrates so many founders is to see someone adjacent to them, or even competitive to them,
Are you coming back again to the SaaStr Annual this year? If so — Thank You. We sincerely appreciate it. We’ve been planning for an entire year to make it better this year.
Last year, while overall the feedback was quite strong, we heard there were a bunch of things you wanted us to try to improve:
Facilitating meeting even more people. More founders, VPs and others at similar or later stages.
Better / faster registration.
Sessions were too crowded, especially VC sessions and smaller stages.
Parties were a bit too loud, and sometimes, too commercial.
Wanted even more time with VCs and investors.
We’ve listened. And we’ve tried to improve everything. Let’s dig in on what’s even better this time:
Mentoring Braindates + Plato Engineering Mentoring. We’ve added formal mentoring, 1-on-1s, and 1-on-small groups across all 3 days. First,
So we’re just a bit more than two weeks out from the 4th SaaStr Annual. It’s amazing how quickly this has scaled from ’15.
It’s going to be crazy — we’re running about 140% in terms of size of last year, and we’re got the best speaker line-up in the history of SaaS for all time forever.
There will a lot going on, and if you are coming or thinking of coming, a few things to plan and think about:
Come early (9am Tu). There will be a lot going on but there are special reasons to come early (and stay late). We’ll open the doors at 9am on Tu Feb 6th and the goal of the first hour will be to meet new people while everyone is fresh. This is maybe the best time of all to meet new people. We’ll then kick off